Hi - Your post below was so helpful. Ive been suffering with cramps after going to the bathroom and have not found anyone with te same problems, until now. One gastroenterologist wanted me to have an abdominal/pelvic CT scan but I am very reluctant not only because of the radiation exposure, but because I feel in my heart there's no anatomical problem with my colon. One doctor gave me Elavil but it makes me feel dreadful. The only drug that works is Bentyl. Thanks for your suggestions.
WARNING! Lengthy response... (it my first time )
IBS is such a generic, broad ranging term that your experience certainly fits it by some definitions (unless there was more you didn't share, it sounds very minor compared to how bad IBS can be), but regardless, relief (not the devil) is in the details.
I have not been officially diagnosed with IBS but know it well enough to know that I first began experiencing the condition when I was a teenager. I'm 48 now (male). Despite years of episodes of extreme pain, discomfort, etc., I did nothing medically for it until about a year ago, as a result of dealing with other issues. I am daily amazed at the changes that have been taking place now that I am addressing it. (but too much info to share now).
I have, and occasionally still do, experience the very thing you describe, however, the disclaimer is it could be very different, so take this with a grain of salt.
First the gurgling is always associated with something I ate. Anything containing air, (i.e. ice cream, dry cereal, carbonated beverage) and/or too much fiber (definitely including beans). Fatty, greasy food(fast food type) have been triggers. And if you add a certain level of stress, the cauldran boils (and if I was constipated at the time, look out!).
I minimize this part of the problem mainly through diet. Unless I decide to accept the consequences for doing so, I avoid the foamy, frothy, foods, limit my fiber to more digestible types. I eat fairly standard fair, but how I prepare it minimizes the digestive challenges that result in gas. And I watch my stress triggers (yeah right...but I'm getting better at it).
The pain/cramping could be many things. For me it was/is (more was than is at this point) either pain through iritation of an inflamation or a hypersensitive intestine. The scouring of the intesinal wall from dry stool (especially if it contained undigested fiber) is another thing I've experienced or the acid burn of the diarhea that followed the constipation during an IBS "episode."
One type of cramping I experience comes after a BM which is the natural spasmodic contracting of the intestinal walls, gone spastic (like a charlie horse in the leg), after the stretching and straining of the "workout." This was often (and I can say was at this time) magnified by inflamation already present. Cramping also happens after eating certain foods that are very astringient (pomegranate or cranberry juice), pungent (raw onions) and of course the hot and spicy foods.
The inflamation took a several month healing process to eliminate (again too much info for this already lengthy comment...ask me later).
To decrease and even eliminate the cramping I use several simple techniques, aside from diet.
I have made use of Yoga style beathing techniques and relaxation poses (especially lying on your back in a comfortable room with feet raised, like on a chair, and slow deep breathes, relaxing music also helps). When on the toilet, and I feel a small sensation in that left side (like you described). I use a simple rotational pose (right arm extended over left knee, left arm reaching up to the left side and as far behind me as possible to get a good, but gentle twist, then I breath several slow deep breaths with my abs drawn in tight and released rythmicly). I often get immediate results, but by alternating sides, a couple times if needed, I can even drawn down gas that is a ways up into the intestine. All without the dangerous staining that results in issues like hemoroids or rectal prolaspe (yes, I learned the hard way). I've used this rotational pose at my desk at work, and, while modified, (no arm stuff just twisting and breahing) while I am driving, with good results.
For those tough days, (poor diet plus high stress), where I can still get nailed with some heavy cramping, I make some warm ginger tea (fresh grated ginger root in a tea bag, in a glass of water popped into the microwave). It is extremely good at putting my belly at ease. Sometimes I add a 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg for is anti-spasmodic qualities as well.
Sometimes this drink is all I need, but the Yoga pose options mentioned above speed up the process. Note, some people (ie my wife) with history of acid reflux (having a damaged esophagus as a result), experience heartburn when drinking warm ginger tea. I have acid reflux now, but as it is more recent I do not experience the heartburn.
I must also add that one amazing discovery that has helped eliminate my intestinal cramping even on my most stressful days, has been the discovery that I produce insufficient stomach acid (hypochloridia). I take a simple hydrocloric acid capsul a few times a day with my meals, and I have be able to bring back a number of foods that I had to avoid. It has literally attacked the final vestiges of my intestinal pain. Despite having acid reflux, I needed more acid in my stomach. Go figure! More acid in my stomach stopped cramps in my lower abdomin...crazy, but it has been great for over 5 months now.
The last thing I am doing that has been the hardest, to now assist in strengthening my system, is getting more sleep. I definitely do better with sufficient rest.
I have gone through a fabulous healing process over the past 12 months. Beginning with excessive belching, farting, puking, cramping, crapping, not crapping, pain, discomfort, and more, with a conventional doctor wanting to remove my gallbladder. I went to an Ayurvedic doctor, who has not only helped me keep my gallbladder, but turned my gastrointestinal clock back 30 years. And aside from a few herbs and supplements during the "healing" phase, I consider myself healed. I am now in the tonefying stage. Any IBS I experience now will be the result of something I chose to do, or the occasional time that life gets out of control, but now I know I can very quickly recover.
I am now working at repairing some of the physical damage caused by my years of "toughing out" IBS. I am very optimistic, after what I have experienced.
This may have been more than you were looking for, but I hope you or someone else finds something helpful in it. I will gladly share more if you are interested. Myself, I looking for information on rectal prolapse and the lack of bowel "urge" due to a very neglected colon.